Gimme Shelter Marcus Harvey’s second show at Vigo Gallery brings to London selected works from his most significant museum exhibition to date, Inselaffe at the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings late last year.
The exhibition includes some of Harvey’s most recent paintings, ceramics and bronze sculptures which employ a selection of motifs and icons of Britishness, both positive, negative and ambiguous that offer structures or jumping off points for us to consider many of the issues of the day.
He employs photography, painting, sculpture and casting with collage techniques to create wall based works and sculptures seemingly occupying space at the edges of both art forms. Constructed from social and military memorabilia joke shop knick-knacks, photographs of seas and abstracted skies, his palette is used to collage portraits of historical figures - from Nelson to Margaret Thatcher and land and seascapes - visions of magnificent self referential island masses adrift in the world. British Cemetery plays with our steadfastness in a changing world, an overpopulated country with a strange magnificence, laden with history.
Gimme Shelter features tough but humorous sculptures and paintings, unapologetic and brash, political yet ambiguous, considered yet painterly, and reflects on Harveys concerns of national identity and masculinity, guilt over colonial misdemeanors and questioning of historical accuracy. Paintings for our time, which have been a long time in gestation.